Reply To: DIY Short tow advice

John Drent

Hi Quinine,

There are short tow lines, and really short tow lines. I keep a 6ft really short line on my deck. One end of this gets attached to my kayak, and the other to the towed kayak. There are a few configurations for this and Mike has referred to one of them. This can be used to help keep the boats together in a close contact tow or as a very short non contact tow.

I also have 4 ft pigtail of which one end is attached to my quick release belt. This can be used to help out in a close contact or non contact tow, or to attache to a longer tow line.

Then I have a small 25 ft “throw bag”  style that is small enough to strap onto my PFD. That is usually all the length I need.

But to meet the regulation, and just in case a longer rope is needed, I also keep a 50 ft line under decks in a throw bag. The first 25 ft gets attached to the towed boat, and then a second carabiner is tied into the rope at the 25ft point and used to attache to my towing pigtail ( or kayak). The rest of the 50  ft line is tied in a “daisy chain” so it is only about 4 ft long. It can quickly be played out when a longer line is needed. If you are only using one line, this is the way to go as it meets the regulations. ( It can be either in a throw bag or a tow belt).

But you really should also have some kind of really short tow rope in the case of a contact tow where the I.P. ( Injured, Incapacitated or Indolent Paddler) is not able to keep the boats held close together.